Setting the Atmosphere

Last Saturday, the kids were grouchy.  It just happens sometimes.  

Daddy was out of town. 

 They had to do chores.  

My daughter told me she needed to cry and didn't know why.  I told her sometimes girls just need a good cry, to which she responded, "

Does that ever happen to you, Mama?"

The boys had been looking forward to watching their favorite football team play, only to watch them get beaten so soundly the punter needed an ice bath after the game.

The youngest two argued over something trivial.

The oldest two couldn't seem to get interested in anything other than video games.

It didn't take a genius to see that the atmosphere in my home needed to change.  And I realized I'm responsible for that.  Parents are the CEOs of the home when it comes to setting atmosphere.  

If we don't like what's going on in our children, it's our responsibility to find out where the negativity is coming in and close that door.  If there is nothing positive happening, it's our responsibility to open the doors of change.

So, I told the kids to get their shoes on.   We were leaving.  And we backed out of the driveway and drove off into adventure.

We got a treat.

We ate it at the park.

We rode bikes.

We played football.

We got the makings of a cheap picnic dinner at the supermarket.

We ate it at the lake.

We fed ducks.

We found shells.

We laughed.

We came home only after it was dark.

And as all four of my children got ready for bed, they each found a moment on their own to thank me for taking the time together.

I went to bed so grateful for the joy in my house, but as I crawled under the covers, I was humbled by the realization of the influence I have in my own home.  No, I can't always take my children out for a fun adventure every time they're grumpy.  And I might not always be able to "fix" their problems, when life throws curve balls a whole lot worse than disappointment over a lost game.

But, I can pay attention. 

I can "know the state of my flock" (Proverbs 27:23) and realize when change is needed.  

I can pray.  

I can encourage.  

I can open those doors of new opportunity. 

I can look beyond my own to-do list and minister to the heart needs in my home.

I can engage.

And I know there will be times that the atmosphere doesn't change right away.  But, it can change. 

And I can be the one who initiates it, with the occasional help of a duck.